Mistake No. 2: Not documenting and sharing your wishes
Maybe you've thought about your funeral in detail, right down to what you'd like to wear and which songs you'd like played. But if you don't document and share your wishes, who will know?
Some people discuss their wishes with family or friends, but they don't write them down. Others may just choose burial or cremation and think that's all that's needed. Grieving family members may not remember what you said you wanted. They may disagree about what they think you wanted. Planning allows you to confirm every preference and make your choices known to family members. By documenting your plans with a funeral home—and letting your family know—you eliminate the confusion and take pressure off your family.
When you plan ahead, don't forget one all-important detail: Tell your family the name of the funeral home where you made arrangements, so they know whom to contact when the time comes.
Read 6 Reasons Prepaid Funeral Plans Are the Best Gift You Can Give Your Children.
Mistake No. 3: Not paying for funeral arrangements in advance
In addition to making your wishes known and eliminating some of the stress on your family, planning ahead can save money. Like many things, funeral costs rise over time, and paying for them in advance lets you lock in today's prices on many items. For example, if you pre-plan your celebration of life and choose a casket that costs $2,000, even if you don't need a casket for 20 years, you've got a price guarantee. No matter how much the cost of that casket increases, you will never pay more than the original $2,000.
What’s more, a prepaid funeral plan helps ensure your family isn’t faced with financial hardship. Even if you've planned to pay memorial expenses through life insurance, those funds can take weeks or months to become available. Payment for a funeral is expected at the time of service, and not every family has thousands of dollars in cash on hand or a credit card to which it can be charged. Advance planning means less worry about money for your loved ones.
Bonus Mistake: Thinking your will has you covered
Many people believe that just because they've made funeral wishes known and allocated money for expenses in a will, that they're covered. The reality is that a will may not be consulted until days or weeks after death. By then, your service may already have taken place, and funds may be tied up in probate for months. Planning ahead solves both.
What affects funeral and cremation costs?
There are hundreds of decisions that must be made when planning a funeral, cremation or memorial service, and making funeral arrangements can often seem confusing or overwhelming. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to planning a funeral or memorial service, there are different costs and expenses to consider. Learn what to expect and get your free Guide to Understanding Funeral and Cremation Costs today.